Ill. police figure out ways to enforce cell phones behind the wheel ban

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by Matt Sczesny / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on August 20, 2013 at 10:58 PM

 (KMOV) – In 2014, drivers in Illinois will be forced to hang up while driving after Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a ban on all hand-held devices for drivers.

 Illinois is just one of many states which have already banned drivers from using phones in an effort to reduce distracted driver accidents.

The new law including a ban on dialing, texting or checking emails while behind the wheel, which police admit will not be easy to enforce.

“It’s a difficult thing to do for us to be driving down the road and look in your car to see what you’re doing,” St. Clair Sheriff Rick Watson said.

Sheriff Watson is a supporter of the law and said he has witnessed two accidents in the last five months because of drivers on the phone, either texting or talking.

The governor said the new law will save lives it will also cost money for drivers who choose to ignore it.

There will be a fine of $75 for the first offense, $150 after that and a possible license suspension for a third violation.

What is not known is how police will be willing to enforce it and how hard will it be to catch drivers in the act.

When asked if the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department anticipates writing a lot of tickets over this, Sheriff Watson said “not really, but I’m sure we’ll have to set up enforcement zones and set people out to watch and see them talking on their phones. Hopefully the law will get people to comply.”

Some police departments in Illinois have yet to review the new law which takes effect on January 1, 2014. 

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